Del Norte high school serves 2,150 students and offers artful displays of light and color throughout the campus while a broad range of soft and hard angles   ignite architectural interest.  The school’s circular geometry envelops a central quad that links academic buildings with social gathering spaces.  The new high school includes a research center, a gymnasium, athletic support facilities, a performing arts complex, administrative facilities, food service facilities, and comprehensive outdoor athletic facilities.  Central staff support areas allow staff to collaborate in creating cross-curricular educational materials.

Flexible space planning in the Research & Development Labs allows outreach to  the business community  for participation so students can  extend learning beyond the walls of the  traditional classroom by participating in real world conditions.  The school is designed to meet the demands of the 21st Century and features state of the art technology through a campus wide multimedia network allowing all work stations access to shared software, data and the internet.

Del Norte High School is a lesson in sustainable design, offering superior energy performance that exceeds California’s Title 24 energy requirements by 25 percent.  This CHPS school achieves efficiency through a well-insulated building envelope, natural day-lighting, a central HVAC plant that distributes heated and/or chilled water to air handing units in each classroom, and a digital energy management system that remotely monitors energy performance of mechanical systems.

Through its lively exploration of structure at the research center to its playful embrace of the landscape at the Performing Arts Village, Del Norte High School establishes a presence for its community that speaks to future education as an unexplored challenging adventure that while basic and fun, remains an extremely energetic and powerful link to the 21st century.


Location: San Diego, California

District: Poway Unified School District

Size: 224,415 SF, 62 Acre Site

Cost: $102.5 M

Completion: 2009

Awards: Honor Award, Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH Award of Honor 1999);  Project of the Year, Masonry Construction Magazine;  California High Performance School (CHPS)

Admin and Library
Visual and Performing Arts Court